Let’s face facts, the world isn’t exactly the funnest place to be these days, is it?
In my humble opinion, anyone who can help us forget the fires burning outside our door is a hero. To that end, today’s guest, Dennis Andres, is genuinely worthy of our respect. Not only is Dennis (“D-Man” to me, because we’re buds now) an integral part of CBC’s game-changing Workin’ Moms, he’s a helluva nice guy.
Being an actor is tough enough (I can’t even sell a white lie to my wife, never mind try to convince millions of strangers I’m another being all-together) but Dennis is also a producer. But the road to the here and now can only be accessed through the past (yes, I can be deep and poetic when I want to be, shut up) so let’s look at Dennis’ past, shall we?
Dennis spent his formative years in Germany before his family immigrated to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada in 1995. (Immigrants rule, Trump!) Once he settled in the Great White North a young Dennis needed an outlet for his boundless energies and since Canada has never had a thriving masked adventurer industry, football and martial arts became a worthy substitute.
D-Man earned a black belt (they were out of plaid) in Ju Jitsu, Wado Kai and Kickboxing and at the height of his career he competed in the World Karate Association where he placed sixth in Canada and first in Ontario in Mixed Martial Arts. (Note to self: Do not screw this 5×5 up. The vertebrae you save will be your own.)
Ten years of competitive football led Dennis to the inescapable realization that his skull and its contents were only capable of taking so much punishment and so Dennis joined the Canadian Armed Forces to give back to his adopted country. D-Man served for one year with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry.
Told you he was a hero. Didn’t believe me, did you? Silly rabbits.
At any rate, a convo with his high school drama teacher sent Dennis down yet another path (a well-traveled man is a better, stronger man) one that would define his existence. Dennis soon threw himself into acting and spent a few years cutting his teeth as a volunteer in community theatre. A friend introduced Dennis Andres to his current agent and several commercials, TV and film roles later, he was a full-fledged member of the professional acting community.
Dennis has acted alongside Michael Madsen (who let him keep both his ears, luckily) Daniel Baldwin and Malcolm McDowell, to name drop a few. For you fanboys out there, D-Man has also appeared in Guilllermo Del Toro’s The Strain. (Scary stuff, kids!) In additon to his role of Ian Matthews in the aforementioned Workin’ Moms, Dennis can be seen in the next season of the mega-hit Dark Matter.
(In other words, my tax dollars. You’re welcome.)
And now that the formalities are out of the way, let’s hear from the man himself…
ONE) Workin’ Moms has taken CBC and all of Canada by storm, so kudos on landing the role of Ian. I’m sure you’ve had a blast onset, but can you share one behind-the-scenes tale that stands out?
Well first of all, thank you very much.
Set was great, and everyone got along really well, which doesn’t always happen, so I feel very lucky to be part of such a kickass team.
There is one memory that particularly stands out to me… It was a scene with my onscreen wife, Jenny (Jessalyn Wanlim – who’s a rock star and made every day going to set awesome) and myself. I can’t give much away, but it’s a scene later in the season that Catherine (Reitman) directed, and did an incredible job guiding the scene into the emotional direction it should go. She managed to create a moment so surreal that I had forgotten I was on camera, and when they yelled, “cut!” I looked up, and the first thing I saw was Lainie Knox (our wonder woman camera A operator) wipe a tear from her eye.
It’s for moments like that that I’m grateful I chose to be an actor, and that I get to be surrounded by a cast and crew who are not only phenomenal at what they do, but that also support the team they work with. It’s one of those moments that really stick with you through your career.
TWO) Your résumé screams “action guy”. (I maintain that Chris Pratt stole your look and career.) Do you enjoy psychical roles more than strictly-cerebral performances?
I definitely enjoy the physical demands behind an action part for the simple reason that I’ve been an athlete for the better part of my life. I started off doing stunts, but it was acting that I fell in love with along the way and that ultimately took over my career. The more I began discovering my love of creating a character and becoming emotionally invested in my roles, I realized that I wanted to do more and more of that.
Don’t get me wrong, I still would love to sink my teeth into a great action role, but it’s more the mental aspect of the character I’m interested in. Currently, I’m working on a character that is almost entirely driven through emotions and life events, with little-to-no physical demands involved. So hopefully people will enjoy watching that kind of character too.
Ha ha yes, I have been getting a lot of those comparisons lately, which is extremely flattering. But the next person that says it, I’m handing him a comedy script about two brothers!
THREE) If you could be any cartoon character for a day, who would you be?
Batty from Fern Gully… he’s just such a free spirit – “Human tails? Humans don’t have tails. They have big, big bottoms that they wear with bad shorts, and walk around going, “Hi Helen!”
Hats off to Robin Williams, the best.
FOUR) What’s it been like walking the streets post-Workin’ Moms? Have you been recognized or received any feedback from viewers?
I’ve had a lot of great feedback from the friends and family who have supported me since the beginning, and that continue to follow my career. I’m so happy, and feel very fortunate to have that kind of support.
In terms of being recognized, my most recent moment was when I was out buying lunch at a more regular spot, and the lovely lady serving me said that she’d just watched a show called Workin’ Moms with my twin on it. I told her that that was me!
She didn’t believe me.
FIVE) Are you drawn to clever-but-offbeat projects like Bed of the Dead or was it simply another acting challenge like Workin’ Moms?
For Bed of the Dead I enjoyed the character that I played in that film, and it’s largely the reason I wanted to be a part of it. I had also heard that the team was great and I really wanted the chance to work with them, so that’s also an aspect I look for in a project. It was definitely a great experience for me, and also very different from my character Ian Matthews in Workin’ Moms. So I think the acting challenge is more of what I’m drawn to, and that motivation leads me to a variety of really interesting projects.
If you don’t think Dennis Andres is one of the coolest mammals on the planet after reading this 5×5… we ave nothing more to say to each other. Except for this: Not only has Dennis been blessed with heroic good looks (seriously, the guy looks like a super hero) and super acting ability, he is represented by Jessica Martins of Hero Artists (www.heroartists.com) thus completing the package.
My eternal thanks to Dennis for making the time to be today’s 5×5
victim subject; he really is a great guy. Thanls to all of you, of course, and a big thank you to Jessica Martins of the aforementioned Hero Artists for being an invaluable resource and an all-around sparkly human being.
See you in the lobby and on the CBC, kids…